Oakland Athletics Sign Free Agent Pitcher Henderson Alvarez

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The Oakland Athletics have signed right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a one-year, four million dollar contract as first reported by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

Before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in July, Alvarez posted a 0-4 record for the Miami Marlins with a 6.45 ERA in 22 1/3 innings. He was non-tendered on December 3. If Miami decided to retain the 25-year-old hurler from Venezuela, he would have made four million dollars regardless.

From the Athletics’ perspective, inking a cost-controllable pitcher with a lengthy injury history isn’t out of “the norm” one bit; considering the fact that Oakland was deemed a finalist for the services of free-agent Scott Kazmir, as mentioned in an article by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. With the signing of Alvarez, a reunion with the southpaw is unclear based on the fact that he’s looking for a four-year contract, at around $12 to $13 million dollars per season.

As for Alvarez, he is under team control through the 2017 season because he only has four years of major league service — which, in a sense, serves as a club option for the green and gold, should they decide to bring him back the following year.

In 2014, the 25-year-old was a force to be reckoned with for the Marlins. He had an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 111:33, a 12-7 record to go with a 2.65 ERA in 187.0 frames. The Venezuela native has a typically four-pitch arsenal — fastball, slider, change-up while also tossing in an occasional curveball. Since making his Major League debut in 2011 (against the A’s), Alvarez’ fastball velocity has declined each year topping at 93 miles per hour to 90 miles per hour most recently.

Next: A's Prospect Profile: Shortstop Mikey White

Despite being a soft-tossing right-handed pitcher, Alvarez has been extremely successful when it comes to inducing ground balls as proven by his 2.26 ground/fly ball ratio. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Alvarez has already started his throwing program, and Alvarez recently posted a video of himself tossing the baseball this offseason. If things go well, he could be healthy enough to return to the Major League mound as soon as April.

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